The past few weeks,
there has been a rash of recent incident reports of interest that
have been made public by Transport Canada.
On November 11,
2022, the pilot of a commercial airliner flying from Montreal to
Paris reported a drone flying uncomfortably close to his aircraft.
The flight was at 9,000 ft and the crew watched as the drone flew
within 200-300 ft off the left wingtip. This all took place as the
airliner was approximately over Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, about 40 km
east of Montreal, at 12:42 pm local time. It was noted as CADORS
Of course, a drone
is not a UFO—or
has been considerable discussion within ufology and UAP experts
regarding the American government’s revelation that many
UFOs/UAPs could be Chinese drones. UFO
fans insist that UFO witnesses such as USN pilots, for example, would
know the difference between a drone and anything else.
Canada, there’s an interesting distinction between UFOs and drones,
at least according to Transport Canada, the Canuck version of the FAA
in the USA.
is apart from the fact that Canada still uses the term “unidentified
flying object” and UFO in official documentation of aerospace
incident reports. UAP be damned.)
the daily Canadian
Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) incident
reports, drone encounters are usually classified as things that could
potentially endanger aircraft, like 2022Q4099:
Now, some aerospace
researchers have pointed out that most drones fly at much less than
9,000 ft, so this was either a runaway toy or something more
advanced. Was this a Chinese or Russian UAP?
It’s important to
note, however, that even if this was a drone and not a UAP, the fact
that it was in the flight path of a large commercial airliner shows
that there is a need to monitor airspace for such intrusions, and
that collecting reports and information on UAP is a serious and
Thank goodness they didn’t need to take “evasive action!”
A day later, on
November 12, 2022, something unlike a drone was reported
approximately over the tiny hamlet of Kenabeek, Ontario:
In this case
(2022O2794), the classification of UFO was clearly indicated. This
was a cargo flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, the flight path of
which passed over that part of Canada. At about 3:21 am local time,
pilots saw “lights that were moving eastward at the same speed of
That’s all we
know. We don’t know how long the lights were seen, whether they
were below the plane or off the port or starboard, or what the lights
looked like. So sure, they were UFOs, but without more information,
this case has to be labeled as “Insufficient Information.”
Was there some
additional investigation or follow-up by Nav Canada? Were the pilot
and crew interviewed to obtain other details? Without any clear idea
of what was observed, there’s no way of knowing if there was ever
any danger to the crew or anyone else, despite this being some kind
of intrusion into Canadian airspace.
Four days later, on
November 16, 2022, according to case 2022A1139, something that was
classified neither as a drone or a UFO was seen by a pilot flying an
airliner between Toronto and St. John’s Newfoundland.
The aircraft was
over Placentia Bay, over open water near a dangerous ocean location
identified on maps as Shag Roost Sunkers within the Ragged Islands.
(Really. For god’s sake don’t sail a boat anywhere near that
The pilot thought
the “strange light” was about 60 nautical miles or 110 km west of
the St. John’s airport, which means the light was near the
indicated coordinates of the aircraft. So was it near the aircraft?
But notice the
category assigned to this incident: “Laser interference.”
Unfortunately, many pilots report having green lasers shone at their
aircraft while in flight, often causing temporary blindness at
critical times, such as takeoff and landing. Sometimes, the culprits
are UFO fans who believe the light they see in the sky is a UFO and
are trying to signal the aliens on board. These are very dangerous
situations, and fortunately, pilot reports of these instances are
referred to RCMP who are able to track down the perpetrators.
In most of the
CADORS reports with this label, it’s very clear that handheld
lasers were indeed the cause, most often green in colour and shining
on the cockpit. But in this case, all that was reported was “a
strange light,” which could have been anything.
Again, we would need
more information to better understand what happened.
On November 20,
2022, at about 3:00 pm in the afternoon, “an object with a beam of
light” was seen by someone in or near Hampton, New Brunswick.
In this case,
2022A1173, there’s no indication of a pilot or crew being the
witnesses, so it’s possible this was someone on the ground.
Whomever it was, he or she saw this object heading northwest towards
Fredericton, which would mean it was heading directly over CFB
Gagetown, and at an estimated altitude of between 1000 to 2000 ft. As
it flew, the object seemed to break up “into four objects with
similar beams of light.”
It’s not a stretch
to think that this was a military flight of some sort, the beams of
light corresponding to the landing lights of an aircraft going
towards the airbase.
But this was
classified as a UFO, so without sufficient information about what was
seen, that’s how Transport Canada filed it.
On November 23,
2022, in the early afternoon, the pilot of a small commercial flight
had just taken off from a small airport in northern Saskatchewan when
the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) alerted him of another
aircraft in the area. This system is independent of airport radar
equipment and notifies a pilot that there is another aircraft nearby.
In this case, the CADORS report 2022C5963 noted that there was “No
It should be noted
that a TCAS alert does not necessarily mean that there’s another
plane on a collision course. The TCAS can only detect another
aircraft’s transponder if it is working and set properly to begin
with. Then, the TCAS calculates the range and altitude and
extrapolates the possible course of the other aircraft.
In most CADORS
incident reports, TCAS alerts have resolutions. That is, the aircraft
detected is identified and air traffic control (ATC) at the airport
is able to paint it on radar and see its true course. The pilot
receiving the TCAS alert is then able to change course or the other
aircraft will be directed to do so. TCAS by itself does not have a
radar system, but uses the onboard radar to supplement other input.
Following a TCAS
alert, there will almost always be a resolution advisory (RA) which
instructs the pilot on what to do. Also, the approaching aircraft
will be identified.
But not always, and
this is why it’s instructive to look at TCAS incident reports that
don’t seem to involve another aircraft. Was the TCAS
malfunctioning, or any of its input sources?
This case was an
instrumented detection of an unknown object and was unresolved. In
many ways, this was similar to a “UFO report” noted by a MADAR
node operated by the new version of NICAP. MADAR
nodes basically operate as magnetometers, detecting changes in
local geomagnetic fields that are thought to be influenced by UAPs
(originally UFOs). The theory is that a detection alert will send the
node into action, using surveillance cameras to try and photograph
and otherwise capture whatever caused the anomaly.
Such detections are
noted by some UFO groups and are in fact included
by NUFORC in its list of UFO report data. Given that they are
instrumented detections only, without visual or other verification,
they are quite similar to TCAS reports.
Later that same day,
however, on November 23, 2022, but later in the day, just before
midnight, odd lights were seen by pilots of a commercial aircraft
flying from Washington, DC, to Zurich.
2022A1161 notes the aircraft was located above the southern tip of
Newfoundland, near Point au Gaul, close to the town of Saint
Lawrence. The pilot saw “white lights moving left and right, up and
down.” It’s not noted how long the lights were seen, but the last
reported position was east of St. John’s, more than 150 km away, so
the lights were seen for a while, at least.
Again, this was
classified as “Laser interference,” which is rather odd as the
plane was well over open water when the lights were first seen, and
it’s pretty unlikely someone had a laser pointer on a boat around
The description of
the lights also seems rather strange. There’s no indication of the
direction in the sky the lights were seen, not their height above the
water. Also, note that the plural is used: lights, not just one
light. How many? In any configuration? How did these differ from
stars or anything else in the sky?
One can speculate
that if the lights were seen towards the south, then they might have
been on fishing boats or other ships around the Grand Banks, only 250
But without further
details, this case must also be considered Insufficient Information.
Finally, on November
25, 2022, there was another TCAS case, 2022Q4166, this time involving
a private flight from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, in the north to
Grand-Riviere, Quebec, in the south. The pilot reported getting a
TCAS about an object at 1,000 ft, while his plane was 3 NM northwest
of the Rouyn-Noranda airport. No visual or radio contact with the
target was made.
This collection of
Canadian CADORS cases indicates that pilots are continuing to report
unusual activity to authorities, in compliance with Transport Canada
regulations. What we don’t know is if any of these cases were
followed up or investigated further by Nav Canada or any other
have wondered about the lag in reporting and publishing incidents,
but given the likelihood of bureaucratic red tape and slow
administrative procedures, the average time between an incident
occurring and its report release is about 10 days, something that
isn’t really surprising.
Further, none of
these cases suggest any kind of extratrerrestrial activity, as
implied (and often explicitly stated) by UFO experts, and seem to
support the cautious tone offered by representatives of the American
All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) or its predecessor the
Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).